07/03/2017 8:56AM

Woodbine to have second turf course for 2019

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Woodbine will add a second turf course for the 2019 season.

The new turf course will take the place of the seven-furlong harness track. Woodbine announced earlier this month that it will commit $10 million for improvements to Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario, in order to move harness racing there full time next spring. Following the conclusion of the harness meet at Woodbine next April, construction will begin on the new inner turf course.

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“Enhancing our turf program with a second grass course, with its exciting additional racing possibilities and tremendous fan appeal, fits well with Woodbine Entertainment’s core mandate of achieving the highest quality of horse racing,” said Jim Lawson, chief executive of Woodbine Entertainment Group.

Lawson said at last Wednesday’s Queen’s Plate post-position draw that the track sees increased field size and handle for turf racing. Woodbine contested 236 races on turf in 2016 with an average field size of 8.74. The average field size for the 1,013 races on Tapeta during the 2016 meet was 8.31. This year, Woodbine has averaged 9.26 starters for its 70 turf races.